After a demoralising loss last week to unbeaten League leaders Norwood, we had a clear focus to respond as a group this week against Sturt who were coming off their first win of the year.
Sturt won the toss and kicked with a blustery breeze in the first quarter. We forced Sturt wide early, however, to their credit they kicked three of their four goals for the term from the boundary line, with the fourth coming on the siren, following a 25m penalty. Chelsea Biddell kicked our only goal for the quarter with a strong kick into the breeze after being hit on the lead with a great kick from Emma Smith.
At quarter time, we asked the girls to remain composed, use the wind to our advantage and work our way back into the game. Tekira Hoffmann, undersized against her opponents, competed well in Ruck to provide the midfield the ability to break even at the stoppages. The defence held up firm with Maddi Newman providing some rebound run. With our birthday girl, Emma Smith providing energy up forward the opportunities began to come. Biddell added a further two goals, however, we wasted a couple of opportunities and Sturt got one back to lead by 8 points at half time.
At half time we expressed the importance of the 3rd quarter, needing to show resilience against the breeze. To the credit of every player the team lifted and outscored Sturt to take a three point lead into 3/4 time. During the quarter Emily Hingston showed a calmness to anticipate and read the play in defence intercepting on a few occasions. Our midfield began to get on top and win the clearances. Mel Elsegood and Biddell, kicked goals, giving Chelsea four for the game.
We finished the last quarter with Helen Maidment scoring her first goal in SANFLW footy by snapping on her left foot from close range, while holding Sturt scoreless. This gave us a 12point win and put us up to 3rd on the ladder. Most pleasing was the ability of the team to hold their nerve, remain calm and think the game through after being down by 18 points at the first break.
Next week we play a rejuvenated North Adelaide who have won their last three in a row. A win would see us consolidate a spot in the top 4, a loss would see us back amongst the pack in the race for a finals position.